The Guardian ran a Rhianna Pratchett remembrance of her father Terry recently. he sounds a wonderful father as well as a great writer:
Very moving. And don’t fail to click on the link to AS Byatt’s review of The Shepard’s Crown.
Oh, I missed that. Pretty huge spoilers, though, if you haven’t read it. Antonia Byatt always was perceptive about Pratchett. From very early on when she was a heavy-hitting creator of Literature and he was seen as just an amusing but slight fantasy parodist, she always championed him. She’s also right about Soul Music and Moving Pictures, which don’t need to be reread.
I’m glad it’s not just me, because I worried that I disliked their parody of rock music and movies (two things I love) because it was my ox being gored. But the parody elements in those two books were ham-fisted and obvious.
What’s more amazing is that the Pratchetts ever saw Halley’s Comet “blazing” across a star-filled sky. I waited about twenty years of my life for that thing to show up and it was the biggest anti-climax ever. I actually had to look up Rhianna’s age to make sure she wasn’t confusing it with Hale-Bopp or Hyakutake, both of which were worth the bother.
Heh, yeah I noticed that too. I remember Berke Breatheds apt description back in '86:
It’s a speck! It’s a spot!
It’s just barely a dot!
A comet spectacular
It most certainly is not!
But its a beautiful story. I suspect the narrativium made the comet blaze for Pterry and Rhianna.
I’m currently reading all of the Discworld books, in order, for the first time. I’m just finishing *Soul Music *now, and I have to agree with the “ham-fisted and obvious” sentiment. I do get a bit put off by the ones where everything is just a setting from the modern world (or even the ancient world–I had the same issue with Pyramids) with just a slight twist on the names. However, I’m enjoying *Soul Music *more than I did *Moving Pictures * partly *because *it’s my ox being gored.
And of course, they’re all so wonderfully written that it’s easy to forgive the fairly lame parodic premise.
I beg to differ. I’ve reread all of Pratchett’s books and still guffaw at them, no matter what meat the fist is made of.
She’s allowed to remember it that way We took the boy out when he was 6 to see McNaught in 2007, which was actually a pretty good comet, and we still have a picture he drew of it.